the complete guide to the ordinary peptide serums

What’s the best The Ordinary Peptide Serum?

That’s a tough one. The hype around peptides is… well, 90% hype. When you ignore the manufacturer claims and influencers’ endorsements, there’s not much scientific proof peptides do anything special.

I personally don’t use peptides in my skincare routine. Sure, every now and then I’d try a peptide serum to see what the fuss is about or if a lot of readers request it, but they’re not a regular part of my skincare routine like retinol and vitamin C. Give me what works and keep the hype, thanks.

But, I get it. A lot of you are curious to see if peptides are indeed the new antiaging powerhouses the press makes them out to be. If you’re gonna try them anyway, do it on the cheap.

That’s where The Ordinary comes in. Their peptide serums start at just £5.50, making them the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to satisfy their curiosity without breaking the bank. If they work, awesome. If they don’t, no harm done.

But which one should you go for? Here’s the complete guide to The Ordinary peptide serums to help you choose the right one for your needs:

Argireline Solution 10% (£5.50)

Peptides included: Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (a.k.a. argireline), a shortened peptide sequence of Botox.

What the manufacturer says it does: Like Botox, it blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. This way, the muscles can’t move anymore. If they can’t move, expression likes (like forehead wrinkles and smile lines) look smaller.

What science says it does: According to a 2013 studies, applying argireline twice a day for a month can reduce crow’s feet by as much as 48%!

Side effects: Argireline doesn’t penetrate skin well. Only people with thin skin will see an improvement. If you’re young and your skin is thick, you probably won’t see any results at all. (Hint: if you didn’t go through menopause yet, your skin isn’t probably thin enough to see a difference).

Who should use it: Mature women with thin skin who want to relax their expression lines.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique

Related: Spotlight On Argireline: Is It Really An Alternative To Botox?

If you’re feeling completely intimidated and overwhelmed by The Ordinary skincare I recommend taking Extraordinary Skin With The Ordinary. A The Ordinary speed training created by my scientist friend Cheryl Woodman. Cheryl’s helped hundreds of ladies see real-life results, first hand. Click here to find out more about the course and see their reviews.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine - Where to start with The Ordinary skincare

Matrixyl 10% + HA (£9.60)

Peptides included:  Two generations of Matrixyl™: Matrixyl™ 3000 (palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7) and Matrixyl™ synthe’6™ (palmitoyl tripeptide-38). 

What the manufacturer says it does: Matrixyl stimulates collagen production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

What science says it does: Not much. The only studies I’ve found were done by the manufacturer. They show that Matrixyl boosts collagen production indeed (at least in rats).

Side effects: A waste of money if you don’t get the results you want. Personally, I’m waiting for more independent studies confirming its collagen-boosting properties before adding it to my skincare routine.

Who should use it: Personally, I’d skip this one. But if you’re already using your retinoids and vitamin C and still have money to spare, I guess you could give it a go.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique

Related: 8 Ways To Rebuild Lost Collagen (That Really Work)

Confused about The Ordinary? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and get “The Ordinary Products Guide” Cheatsheet:

Buffet (£12.70)

Peptides included: Here’s a quick list:

  • Matrixyl™ 3000 peptide complex (with palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7)
  • Matrixyl™ synthe’6™ peptide complex (with palmitoyl tripeptide-38)
  • SYN™-AKE peptide complex (with dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate)
  • Relistase peptide complex (with acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine)
  • ARGIRELOX™ peptide complex (with acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18)

What the manufacturer says it does: Let’s examine the peptides one by one:

  • Argirelox Peptide Complex: It relaxes the muscles so they can’t move as well. No movement = no expression lines.
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-1: Boosts collagen production.
  • Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7:It makes skin firmer and smoother.
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38: It increases the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
  • Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate: Like Argireline, Syn™-Ake relaxes muscles to reduce wrinkles lines.
  • Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine: known as Restilase, it boosts collagen production.

What science says it does: Not much. Apart from the Argireline study I mentioned above, I couldn’t find any independent research supporting the claims for the other peptides. All the studies seem to come from the manufacturer.

Side effects: Again, peptides aren’t dangerous for your skin. It’s your wallet you should worry about.

Who should use it: I don’t really recommend Buffet unless you have the money to spare. If you’re curious about peptides, it’s a cheap way to test what they can do for you.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique

Related: What Type Of Peptides Work Best To Repair Skin?

Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% (£28.90)

Peptides included: Her’es a quick list:

  • Copper Peptides (a.k.a. GHK-Cu/Copper Tripeptide-1)
  • Matrixyl 3000 peptide complex (with palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7)
  • Matrixyl synthe’6 peptide complex (with palmitoyl tripeptide-38)
  • SYN-AKE peptide complex (with dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate)
  • Relistase peptide complex (with acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine)
  • ARGIRELOX peptide complex (with acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18)

What the manufacturer says it does: Copper peptides activate a lot of functions in the body, including wound healing, collagen production and anti-inflammatory responses. They keep skin in a constant state of repair. What about the other peptides? They’re the same ones in Buffet, so go read the section above. 🙂

What science says it does: A 2015 study shows that copper peptides soothe skin, help wounds heal faster and boost collagen. As for the other peptides, there’s no much proof they do anything.

Side effects: Using too much copper can have the opposite effect and make you age faster. Use the serum only a few times a week to be on the safe side.

Who should use it: If you’re past 40, are already using proven collagen boosters like retinol and vitamin C, but feel like there’s more you can do to keep your skin in top shape, investing in a copper peptide serum may make sense.

Available at:  AsosBeauty Bay and Cult Beauty

Related: The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% Full Review

Shop The Ordinary Peptide Serums

What’s your fave peptide serum from The Ordinary? Share your pick in the comments below.